I used to wonder why some gals (no one in particular ;-)) pile their clean laundry on their bed or in a corner of their room.
What is so much more convenient about having a pile of unfolded laundry you have to dig through to find two matching socks?
Why not just have a laundry day (like me); wash and fold it straight from the dryer (like me); fold, and put it away all on the same day (like me)? Then you could have a matching pair of socks at a moments notice (like me, of course).
"It's not so hard really (I thought) - just takes a little discipline.
You can do it... (like me)!"
I had a system.
I had it figured out!
I had one child.
I had two, then three children.
My "laundry day" turned into "laundry twice a week", but still it worked.
I MUST be good if I can keep up such discipline even with five children!
Then there were six.
Children that is.
I am now reminding myself that I prayed for humility (I really did) and you know what happens when you ask God for something He already wants to give you?
He answers your prayer with a "Yes. O.K., You bet! " and "Thanks for askin'!"
That's what He said to me when I asked Him to make me humble - "and please not in public if You could possibly swing it Lord?"
He said "It's about time you want that virtue Analene - it would become you; so I accept the challenge!"
And He has began to chip away at my pride.
Gently, tenderly, and even privately he has been holding a mirror where I am forced to look at myself from an outside perspective, and I'm not so impressed with what Jesus sees at times.
He has been so kind not to expose me to others (or at least they are kind enough to overlook my idiocies), and because of that I want to honor Him publicly. This chipping process is just that - a process. I have no notion of being through yet.
I hope you will praise Him with me for illuminating a few things about myself through something so mundane as laundry!
My "laundry day" that turned into "twice a week laundry" is now:
I thought I was good. I thought rather too highly of my abilities, and of myself.
What I discovered (and this is key to a paradigm in my thinking) is that I had not yet met my maximum capacity.
Where one woman is "maxed out" with two children and her laundry gets piled indefinitely,
I am "maxed out" with six and MY laundry is now piled indefinitely.
Now, I'm not either excusing myself (because I believe I can train myself and the children to be efficient with the laundry if I choose to make that important in this season of my life),
nor am I saying I shouldn't have any more children because I have discovered my limitations.
What I am saying, is that I now have proper humility because of my inadequacy, and a rightly placed appreciation for any woman who piles her laundry if it's piled because in her life people are more important.
- In order for me to read a book with my little girls, I must let some other thing go (cleaning my bathroom sink, for instance).
- Or to give the boys my attention when they have a Math question, I've sometimes got to leave other things undone (sweeping and vacuuming the floor).
- If I want to lay down next to my baby so I can win his smiles and wile his coos, I have to be willing to be an imperfect housekeeper.
...But not an imperfect homemaker.
It's the hearts of my children I should be after, right?
Not a drawer full of matching socks.
People are what make a home.
A clean bathroom is simply a part of a house.
I think I might find another groove. One that allows me to play with my children AND put some laundry away.
But it is a very very good lesson for me to learn that I was not so amazing when my house was in less chaos. I was simply acting within my realm of comfort. I was doing what came natural.
Today laundry doesn't come so "naturally".
(Nor for that matter, making dinner. Nor wiping down the kitchen counter. Nor putting the book back on the shelf where it belongs.)
Nope. Now I have to work at it; and what do I find?
That even when it's when it's work, I can get it done.
However it is often at the expense of a more precious thing -
the people I am charged with loving.
It is no matter of pride to have a perfectly ordered house with tidy drawers full of folded clothes and matched socks, if I lose valuable and limited time in which to gather my children, win their hearts, and attract them to a real Savior who loves them.
If I can learn to make THAT the priority, I might actually discover some amount of glory in a room full of unfolded laundry.
Keep loving me Lord. Humble away!